War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0590 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Detroit, Mich., May 24, 1862.

Colonel J. P. TAYLOR,

Commissary of Subsistence, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose a letter* from the contractor for furnishing provisions to the troops and prisoners at Camp Douglas in which he proposes to continue to furnish the supplies after the 1st of July next when the contract expires at the prices he now receives if he can be permitted to do so. The proposition seems to be a suitable one and it is scarcely possible that lower rates if so low could be obtained by calling for new proposals and it would seem that the interests of the Government would be promoted by continuing the contract to Mr. Sullivan.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

CONFIDENTIAL.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Detroit, Mich., May 24, 1862.

Major W. S. PIERSON,

Commanding Depot of Prisoners of War, Sandusky, Ohio.

MAJOR: I inclose instructions in relation to drill, &c. It may seem to make the duty on the men pretty hard, but it is really not to compare with hard services in the field and the necessity is ample justification for it. There may be complaints against it even by officers, but if soldiers are required to do only what they are wiling to do there can be little discipline or instructions. At all events the commanding officer must not find excuses for the neglect of important duties. Please refer to my instructions in relation to drill and observe them as closely as possible. Hurry forward the drill of the new company so that some of the men now present may be detaled for guard service in ten or fifteen days. The company from

Camp Chase cannot be relieved and it must do its full share of duty. See that its captain attends the drill os his company and that none are absent who are not properly so. The doctor must not permit himself to be imposed upon by their pretending sickness. It is not possible that twenty-five of the company can be sick. Neither officers nor men must be excused from duty because they will not do it. For offense committed by prisoners where you cannot discover the individual you must stop one-third or one-half the rations of all in the block for as long a period as may be necessary. Oficers cannot be excused on the plea that they did notknow it was wrong, as was the case in calling through the building when I was there. They must be once [sure?] they are right or they must be punished when they go wrong. Nothing but a strong determination to act on a rigid rule and in silence will enable you to command without trouble.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

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*Omitted here; Sullivan to Mulligan, p. 604.

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